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Duke Energy proposes full excavation of 12 additional coal ash basins in North Carolina

Duke Energy proposes full excavation of 12 additional coal ash basins in North Carolina

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Building on the momentum of coal ash excavation work already underway at several Carolinas sites, Duke Energy today recommended full excavation of an additional 12 coal ash basins in North Carolina. The material would be safely reused in lined structural fills or permanently disposed in lined landfills. While this is a step in the right direction, we need to further the clean-up efforts in the Catawba River Basin.

Excerpt from Duke Energy Online 

By: Duke Energy Media Relations 


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Today’s announcement brings to 24 the total number of Carolinas basins the company is prepared to close by removing ash from its current storage locations at each power plant. 

The company recommends excavating five basins at the Cape Fear Plant (Moncure, N.C.), five basins at H.F. Lee Plant (Goldsboro, N.C.), one basin at W.H. Weatherspoon Plant (Lumberton, N.C.), and one inactive basin at the Cliffside Steam Station (Mooresboro, N.C.). 

The majority of the excavated ash announced today would be relocated to previously discussed lined structural fills in Chatham and Lee counties in North Carolina. Ash basin quantities and destinations —

“We’re making strong progress to protect groundwater and close ash basins, delivering on our commitment to safe, sustainable, long-term solutions,” said Lynn Good, Duke Energy’s president and chief executive officer. 

“A blue ribbon national advisory board and independent engineers, scientists, and dedicated teams at Duke Energy are spending thousands of hours studying data, building enhanced groundwater and surface water protection programs, and identifying closure options that protect people and the environment in a cost-effective manner,” Good said. 

The company is continuing to study the remaining 12 basins in North Carolina to identify smart and effective ways to close those facilities, while minimizing overall environmental impact. 

Based on engineering work completed to date, the remaining 12 basins could be candidates for a broader range of closure options, including an approach that consolidates the ash on site, caps it with a durable and impermeable liner, and protects groundwater. 

However, work continues to inform those decisions, including comprehensive groundwater assessments, groundwater modeling and other site-specific engineering. 

State and federal coal ash regulations allow a variety of proven closure options based on each site’s specific circumstances. Today’s progress report comes after extensive study to ensure that the recommendations comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently published federal Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) regulations and North Carolina’s Coal Ash Management Act (CAMA). 

The proposals are subject to public input and approval by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the North Carolina Coal Ash Management Commission. 

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